It's a classic Mississippi story. Two former classmates who hadn't seen or spoken to each other in decades are reunited through public media. Steve Young, my classmate at Lawhon Junior High School in Tupelo nearly four decades ago, called me a year after I joined MPB to pitch an idea about a show. We had no idea our common background. But it didn't take us long to discover that as very young kids, we played on the same playground, were taught by the same teachers, and shared family experiences that were eerily similar.
Since then, we have spent hours on the phone and in person reminiscing about that period. But more importantly, we have devoted just as much time discussing Steve's vision for a show, which MPB has aired and shared with fellow public broadcasting stations. Steve's program, Our American Family, focuses on 1950s America. It is not a show about race, but a program about life. The latest installment runs this month and features the compelling story of the Clark family.
Our American Family, is but one highlight of an extremely entertaining month on MPB. PBS's American Masters will feature a program on Mississippi blues legend B.B. King with interviews filmed shortly before his death with A-list musicians, including Bonnie Raitt, Bono, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. MPB will once again bring to your home the Governor's Arts Awards, honoring Mississippi artists who have made significant contributions in their craft of choice. It is a festive evening that never fails to leave me in awe over the talent this state has produced.
February's programming schedule will also showcase our serious side. @ISSUE, the only show of its type in the state dedicated to exploring important topics discussed at the Capitol, will continue its run. And PBS will celebrate Black History Month with several shows worthy of your attention. It's a month packed with programming that highlights the storytelling power of public media. Thank you, as always, for your loyalty to MPB. And one more thing: isn't Downton Abbey the best?